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Backpacker Magazine – Fall Gear Guide 2013

Editors' Choice Snow Award 2013: Rab Strata Hoodie

Stay warm and dry in the backcountry with this breathable synthetic.

by: Kristin Hostetter

Rab Strata Hoodie (Andrew Bydlon)
Rab Strata Hoodie (Andrew Bydlon)

Breathable Insulation

Before: Stay warm and dry by frequently adjusting layers to maintain a steady core temp through all your cold-weather stops and starts. Now: Put on the Strata Hoodie and focus on moving, not changing. “I could stay comfortable throughout the day without the incessant fussing, donning, and doffing that I’m used to,” says one tester. This incredibly versatile jacket—ideal for ski touring, snowshoeing, mountaineering, or ice climbing—uses a new Polartec insulation called Alpha. It’s a synthetic fill with thousands of tiny perforations designed to move heat and moisture through the fabric, as well as hold heat once the exertion stops.

We tested seven different Alpha-filled jackets and the Strata Hoodie clinched the title because the design complements the insulation with a highly breathable and quick-drying Pertex Microlight shell and strategic body mapping. “The Strata was the perfect weight for both touring up 10,000-foot Mt. Hayden in Montana, then standing on top to admire the views, rip my skins, and get ready for payoff,” one tester reports. Another tester found it perfect for summer mountaineering: “I wore it on the upper reaches of Mt. Rainier (from Disappointment Cleaver to the summit) with just a baselayer underneath,” he says. “It got down to 15°F, but I was busting my hump. It kept me perfectly warm, without overheating.” The fit is tailored but relaxed: ideal over a thin layer or under a shell, and the hood works best under (not over) a helmet.
$225; 12.7 oz.; m’s XS-XXL, w’s XS-XL; 

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